Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
JPN 260A
Course Title:
Japanese Culture
Credit Hours:
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Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces Japanese traditional and modern culture and society through analysis of cultural, historical and social issues through media product and literary work. Explores concepts such as families, social roles, friendship, pop culture, morality, philosophies, economics and more. Course conducted in English. Japanese materials are subtitled in English. Prerequisites: WR 115 and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Use an understanding of key ideology and terminology on concepts such as families, social roles, friendship, pop culture, morality, philosophies and economics and use critical thinking to evaluate historical changes and their impact on current Japanese society.
2. Recognize the social contributions of Japan based on a deepened understanding of its history, ecology, society, politics, and culture in order to appreciate and evaluate cultural diversity in the global community.
3. Identify culturally grounded assumptions of one€™s own and apply a basic understanding of Japanese culture, social and political issues, perspectives, and forms of expression, to resolve cultural conflicts.
4. Enhance citizenship skills through the practice of selfappraisal and examination of one€™s personal beliefs in comparison to the beliefs of others.
5. Apply cultural understandings learned in class effectively in authentic interactions with native speakers of Japanese.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Japanese families
  • Societal roles of women and men in Japanese society
  • Friendship in Japan
  • WWII in Japan
  • Traditions and modern forces
  • Childhood in Japan
  • Anime as pop culture and reflection on the west
  • Morality, ethics and philosophies
  • Poverty and wealth


  • Recognizes cultural and humanistic issues through comparisons, contrast, reading and discussions
  • Demonstrates understanding of relevant cultural and social issues in contemporary Japanese society
  • Increased critical thinking skills
  • Small group collaboration
  • Speaking and listening reflectively
  • Critical analysis of cultural issues in films
  • Gains opportunities to develop empathy, compassion and respect.